Wednesday, June 15, 2005

International Wine Marketing Symposium

You see, this is what I'm talking about:

A two-day seminar on wine marketing and only one presentation, by John Gillespie of the
Wine Market Council, is addressing increasing the consumer base! The other myriad speakers are discussing how the industry can continue to split the same baby. With 90% of the wine in the US being consumed by 11% of the drinkers, you would think that a marketing seminar would want to discuss how to bring in the 89% of adults who don't drink wine! Unfortunately, this approach is endemic to the industry. We seem to be completely unable to broaden the market, instead preferring to fight over the same consumers.

I better go start up the
wine bus.


Anonymous Dr. Liz Thach said...


Thanks for your comments. We agree with you 100% that we need a lot more help in the U.S. market in creating new wine consumers. However, this symposium is International, with 85% of the speakers coming from OUTSIDE the U.S. It is a collaborative approach with wine marketing academics from around the world. This is our 2nd symposium. The first was in Australia. The next will be in France. PLEASE COME AND JOIN US to learn what we ALL can do to promote responsible wine consumption.
Dr. Liz Thach, Symposium Coordinator

July 03, 2005 8:12 PM  
Anonymous Prof Larry Lockshin said...

Hugh and others,
Your point is well taken as is Liz Thatch's regarding the international focus of most of the speakers. As academics we are always open to conducting research on any issues of importance to the interntional wine sector. UN fortunately, very very few companies are willing to share information let alone finance research as you suggest.

We in Australia have conducted some research asking over 1000 alcoholo drinkers, who drink wine very infrequently why they don't. The answer mainly is they don't like the taste. The study was funded by the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation and shared among its members. Plans for a domestic marketing strategy, similar in intent to the one John Gillispie is running in the US are about to commence.

I also think if you read the titles of the papers a little more carefully and thought about the implications, rather than the titles, you might find some useful topics. Remember, basic research often leads to practical outcomes, but no one is paying us to conduct specific projects. Several of the papers on analyzing the driving forces behind wine purchases are useful for growing the wine market. Studies on how people start drinking wine and whether or no tthe change from sweet to dry and white to red (the 2 cohort studies) provide fundamental understanding of hwere wine consumers come from and what patters of drinking develop in dfferent age, gender and other segments.

Professor Larry Lockshin
University of South Australia

July 03, 2005 8:31 PM  
Anonymous Janeen Olsen said...

Hi Huge, I am also one of the Symposium Coordinators and I agree completely with the need to expand the base of wine consumers. Many of our papers will indeed deal with topics that you identify in your heading as important to reaching that goal, such as alternative closures, stronger branding and introducing wine to visitors at tasting rooms in a more inviting (i.e. less snobby) way. We also will talk about finding new consumers among baby boomers and addressing their desires in wine. We will be selling a CD with the papers and abstracts after the conference for those whom might be interested. Regarding what Larry wrote about academics and our funding situation, Liz and I did some preliminary work on non-wine consumers in the US and found that there are 4 basic reasons why people don't drink wine. One, they don't like the taste. Heavy beer drinkers prefer the taste of beer and non and light drinkers prefer sweeter drinks. Many grew up with cola at dinner and while I think it sounds disgusting, a sweet-carbonated drink is what they say they prefer. Two, health reasons. While the health benefits of wine are becoming better known, there are a lot of consumers, many older, who cannot drink alcohol because of health reasons, primarily possible drug interactions. Also, liver diseases such as Hepetitis C are a growing problem in the US and doctors may recommend that their patients avoid alcohol. With absolutely no medical training myself I would be hesitant to market wine to these groups and cause death or damage to a person's health. Third, religious reasons. Although I may not agree with people's religious beliefs to withhold from wine, I believe we should respect this. And fourth, addiction problems where people have had drinking problems is mentioned and this also seems like a valid reason to avoid wine. This is just a beginning to what we found and there is a lot of further research that we would like to do on this topic using a national sample. However, a few years ago we contacted the same marketing research firm used by the Wine Market Council to see how much a study would cost and the quote for conducting the survey was over $30,000. Unless or until we can find an industry source willing to fund the study, it has sat on the back burner.

July 04, 2005 7:15 AM  
Blogger Huge said...

All, thanks for the comments and the general lack of umbrage. Not sure I was suggesting a marketing campaign toward Hepatitis C patients though! Chuckle...


July 10, 2005 9:44 PM  

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